Borrowed from “The Texans Talk” Texas NEWS Insert July/August 1975 and published in the January/February 1976 issue of La Leche League News.
Editor’s Note: The first issue of La Leche League News, the bimonthly publication for members, was published in 1958. The name changed to New Beginnings in 1985. New Beginnings continued to publish until 2014 when it switched to its current blog format at www.lllusa.org/blog/.
A couple of nights ago I was up during the night to rock a sleepy two-year-old. I was so tired myself that for a moment I just sat holding her, rocking with my eyes closed. Kirsten had weaned herself a few months before, so was just cuddled in my lap. When I looked down to see if she were awake, I saw her staring silently up into my face. With her eyes, and then with her fingers she traced the outline of my cheeks, resting happily at each feature. I am an average-looking woman, but I was suddenly impressed with the knowledge that to my small daughter, I am the most beautiful person in the world.
For many more minutes we silently rocked, Kirsten looking into my eyes with absolute contentment. I realized then how much I would have missed had I continued to rock with eyes closed. For a long time she had me all to herself, with no television or conversation to distract me.
Mothers, please look at your babies; yes, even your older children. Of course there will be times when you will hold and nurse them while you are watching TV or talking with your husband or an older child. But your baby is forming such patterns of communication and security at this time that its importance cannot be overemphasized.
Child psychologists have known for years that of all random patterns offered to tiny babies, they will look the longest at the ones most resembling the human face. The most beautiful one of all is yours, to your baby. Look at them, and store up such moments to treasure and retain against the day they first ask for the car keys, or the extension of a curfew after a dance.
I have a friend whose baby was born without eyes. He is now three, and when we hold Billy and he senses our love, he often traces our faces with his hands. The face is the most communicative feature of our personalities, and your baby deserves long periods of face-to-face contact with those closest to him. Both of you will be learning and gaining from these periods, and who is to say who will gain more?
Source: LLL USA – http://www.lllusa.org/blog/